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Grocery shopping with young children can be like entering a battle. If you enter the grocery store unprepared, things will end badly. Envision with me, the screaming toddler, crying baby, and a frantic retreat through the front doors, leaving behind your half filled grocery cart. However, if you arrive at the grocery store prepared, you can win the battle and arrive home with your groceries completed. These five tips can help you have a successful grocery shopping trip with your little ones.

A screenshot of a shopping carts and text above them.

(1) Bring snacks. Packing a few snacks ahead of time has been a lifesaver for me. I usually pack two different snacks and wait to pull them out until they are needed.

(2) Have a list. When you grocery shop with kids, it is wise to go in with a game plan. Remember that your children are young and still learning self control. Before you leave for the store, sit down and make a list. Not only does this help you move through the store quicker, but you will also save money along the way.

(3) Involve the kids. If your children are old enough, give them a little mini list. There are great printables of grocery lists for kids and they can have a mini eye spy game while you grocery shop.

(4) Pick the right time to go. My best grocery shopping experiences have been when we go in the morning. Typically our grocery store is not busy at this time and I can be in and out quickly. If you go to the grocery store near nap time or a meal time, things will not end well. Think about your day and plan the trip accordingly.

(5) Give a pep talk before you enter the store. Once my children are toddlers, I like to give them a little pre-shopping trip pep talk. As I park the car, I remind them of my expectations and we talk about appropriate behavior. It can even be wise to play grocery shop at your house and role play good behavior. These are great moments to teach and train your little ones.

Grocery shopping with kids does not have to be a dreaded activity. It can be a time where you are able to check off an errand and the kids are able to learn about self control. Do you have any tips for grocery shopping with little ones?

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. These tips are spot on! My kids are a bit older, but they still dread going to the grocery store with me during the summer. I would add to #2 to not only have a list, but make sure you haven’t forgotten anything so you don’t have to make a mid-week run. I also try to stretch our groceries or plan ahead so that I’m able to go longer between trips.